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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Residents concerned by proposed development

A proposed development on the six-hectare former AFP site in Weston has received strong opposition from some Weston residents, in spite of considerable community consultation.

In December 2017, the Village Building Company revealed plans to develop 251 dwellings on the site, including 180 townhouses, 60 apartments and 11 standalone homes.

Since then, extensive community consultation has been held, with a revised plan being released on Monday 16 July that sought to address a number of the issues raised.

Weston Creek Community Council Chair Tom Anderson told ABC Radio Canberra the main concerns raised by local residents revolved around congestion on Heysen Street, trees, building heights and zoning.

Some local residents are unhappy about the density of the proposed plans and parts of the development being three-storeys high, which they labelled in a statement as ‘high density’.

The ACT Government’s 2008 North Weston Concept Plan outlined that “medium density housing between Unwin Place and Heysen Street is to be a maximum of three (3) storeys”.

Mr Anderson said he felt Village Building Company have gone out of their way to consult the community.

“The company has gone back out to the residents and listened to them … They’ve reached out more than I’ve ever seen a company reach out on consultation.

“They’ve had two consultations, one of which was very hostile at which they couldn’t speak for up to an hour, from what I gather, due to the hostility of the residents.”

Mr Anderson said the community would be happy if nothing was built there.

“Our view is we need to work with the company to try and get the best outcome for the residents that are there and the company’s got to be satisfied with that as well.”

Village Building Company outlined on their website how they have adapted their plans to address the concerns raised by the community.

They will look to minimise the traffic impact their development has on Heysen Street, with access envisaged as ‘left in, left out’ only.

The three-storey apartments have been located towards the inside of the site as the land falls away to the north to reduce visual or shadowing impact on existing residents.

They also said they will “retain, where possible, the existing trees as well as many newly planted trees”.

They are now proposing to construct 242 dwellings on the site, comprising 178 townhouses, 45 apartments and 19 separate blocks.

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